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Latest Planetary habitability Stories

3d5ce4fb0b92a7fd2f49eb6dd164ad761
2010-09-30 07:25:00

Researchers from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institution for Science have discovered a new, roughly Earth-sized planet that they believe could sustain life, representatives from both educational institutions announced on Wednesday. The investigative team discovered the new planet in a "habitable zone" (an area located at the right distance from a star in order to receive just enough stellar energy to maintain liquid water at or near the surface of the planet)...

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2010-08-23 14:55:00

Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The infrared observatory spotted a surprisingly large amount of dust around three mature, close-orbiting star pairs. Where did the dust come from? Astronomers say it might be the aftermath of tremendous planetary collisions. "This is real-life science fiction," said Jeremy Drake of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge,...

2aae84a710981cbf88d7572e07de3a961
2010-08-23 10:15:00

The alien life forms that we are searching for might not be "life forms" after all--they could well be sentient machines, according to a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute. In an article published online in the journal Acta Astronautica, SETI's Seth Shostak writes, "Our experiments to find extraterrestrial life are predicated on the assumption that it is most likely to be found on so-called 'habitable worlds.' These are planets and moons where surface liquid water exists, and atmospheres...

e1f0e555e2328c58fece3e553c6559251
2010-05-24 13:12:58

Weird orbits of neighbors can make 'habitable' planets not so habitable Astronomers hunting for planets orbiting nearby stars similar to the sun are looking for signs of rocky, Earth-like planets in a "habitable" zone, where conditions such as temperature and liquid water remain stable enough to support life. New findings from computer modeling indicate that some of those exoplanets might fluctuate between being habitable and being inhospitable to life because of the forces exerted by giant...

c4a176f93f4440b1c1b85fff7fa7cfc51
2010-04-13 08:01:30

An international team of astronomers have discovered compelling evidence that rocky planets are commonplace in our Galaxy. Leicester University scientist and lead researcher Dr Jay Farihi surveyed white dwarfs, the compact remnants of stars that were once like our Sun, and found that many show signs of contamination by heavier elements and possibly even water, improving the prospects for extraterrestrial life. On Tuesday April 13th Dr Farihi will present his results at the RAS National...

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2009-12-17 15:15:00

Avatar's Moon Pandora Could Be Real In the new blockbuster Avatar, humans visit the habitable - and inhabited - alien moon called Pandora. Life-bearing moons like Pandora or the Star Wars forest moon of Endor are a staple of science fiction. With NASA's Kepler mission showing the potential to detect Earth-sized objects, habitable moons may soon become science fact. If we find them nearby, a new paper by Smithsonian astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger shows that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)...

a7ad0a520191ba880f3bc4f31d675abd1
2009-06-10 13:10:00

As astronomers gaze toward nearby planetary systems in search of life, they are focusing their attention on each system's habitable zone, where heat radiated from the star is just right to keep a planet's water in liquid form. A number of planets have been discovered orbiting red dwarf stars, which make up about three-quarters of the stars close to our solar system. Potentially habitable planets must orbit close to those stars "“ perhaps one-fiftieth the distance of Earth to the sun...

511e70818e710e93673339b0d4195e7a1
2009-05-26 06:45:00

Since the early 1990s astronomers have discovered more than 300 planets orbiting stars other than our sun, nearly all of them gas giants like Jupiter. Powerful space telescopes, such as the one that is central to NASA's recently launched Kepler Mission, will make it easier to spot much smaller rocky extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, more similar to Earth. But seen from dozens of light years away, an Earth-like exoplanet will appear in telescopes as little more than a "pale blue dot," the...

19b3ddf055d4c5cc8fd8eec53048071f1
2008-12-15 09:15:00

Scientists are expanding the search for extraterrestrial life -- and they've set their sights on some very unearthly planets. Cold "Super-Earths" -- giant, "snowball" planets that astronomers have spied on the outskirts of faraway solar systems -- could potentially support some kind of life, they have found. Such planets are plentiful; experts estimate that one-third of all solar systems contain super-Earths. "We know there are a lot of super-Earths out there, and the next generation of...

35aab1b29a293802e6852e7c050b749a1
2008-04-16 14:15:00

Is there anybody out there? Probably not, according to a scientist from the University of East Anglia. A mathematical model produced by Prof Andrew Watson suggests that the odds of finding new life on other Earth-like planets are low, given the time it has taken for beings such as humans to evolve and the remaining life span of Earth.Structurally complex and intelligent life evolved late on Earth and it has already been suggested that this process might be governed by a small number of very...


Latest Planetary habitability Reference Libraries

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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